Patrick White

Rookie (September l5, l948 / Campbell River, British Columbia, Canada)

I Don'T Want To Embroider This Straitjacket Of Killer Bees - Poem by Patrick White

I don't want to embroider this straitjacket of killer bees
with threads of blood, honey and toxin. I can't stand
the agony, but I don't want to lie nostalgically
about what's happening to me as it is everyone
to dull the pain with the delusional sugars
of an artificial paradise where all the stars are tinfoil.
Sooner succumb with integrity, than subsist
in the shadow of a lie that buffs the experience
as if churning coke in a hive of angry wildflowers.

Half mad with pain I've become so accustomed to,
enculturated by out of the corner of my third eye
as if this were a state of affairs normal as oxygen
for everything that lives, and everything, even the rocks
I've been pushing up this hill since I was born
like Sisyphus to build a pyramid out of an avalanche
of meteoric cornerstones that keep getting away from me
like the quicksand and mercury that have tainted my sacred pools,
I don't want to lose my marbles in this game of Russian roulette.
I don't want to give up like gravity on any habitable planet
and come unravelled like a lunar cloud of unknowing
or an atmosphere evaporating into the abyss
of a vast space as if I couldn't hold on to my breath long enough
to bubble up from the bottom again like a pearl diver
with a new moon in his hand and a knife in his teeth
he bites down hard on to ensure its not a counterfeit smile.

Anyone can walk their mile standing up
but who knows how to fall for light years
and never come to a stop within themselves
where their hearts are exposed to the stingers of the stars
that approach them like tattoo artists on a binge.
Whether I'm waning or waxing, or just being taken in again
by a snake oil salesmen promoting a dragon of bliss
with stitches in his eyes, I don't want to be unhinged
like a gate that thinks it's a bird without a flight feather.
O I dream, I speculate, I ruminate and scry.
I wonder what it would be like to live in a world
where nothing cries out for anything it's missing,
or counts its blessings on a rosary of tears and skulls
that know all ninety-nine names of God, but not the one
she likes to go by when she's slumming with you personally.

It's far too crucial to me, to the spiritual footing
of this palace of stars I'm trying to raise like a tent in the sky
of an hourglass sharing drinks with itself
like housewells in a mirage inspired by life in the desert.
It's easy to be kind-hearted to your delusions,
but it's altogether another mode of upended discipline
to be brutal about enlightenment until your eyes thaw
and your glacial heart begins to move on its own melting
and unnamed fathomless lakes are gouged out of your mindscape
like a new cosmology of seeing that perfectly reflects
your being like stars in a firmament of illuminating flaws.

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Poem Submitted: Monday, August 27, 2012

Poem Edited: Tuesday, August 28, 2012

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